2. The last step of nihilism is the absorption of God
Furthermore, the author himself states that: “I am not a nihilist, even if negation always tempted me”.The feeling of nothing has tried him since childhood, after a illumination that Cioran does not manage to define.
Otherwise, his early in life proclaimed atheism was hiding a great anxiety. His youth was marked by a reaction against church and also against God. He had a lack of faith because heconsidered himself organic inapt of believing. This is the source of the assertion: “I suffer of an incurable doubt”.
The metaphysic suffering confessed by the Romanian thinker arises from doubt: “I don’t believe neither in God or anything else. Yet, I had a religious crisis; for example, at about 26 years old, during a whole year I did nothing else but reading mystics and saint lives. At the end, I understood that I wasn’t conceived for faith, I realised that thanks to a great crisis of despair”.
Cioran was aware that “the drama of the one that doubts is bigger than of the one that denies, for the reason that living without an aim is more cruel than living for a bad cause…when you deny, you know what you want; when you doubt, you don’t know anymore”17. Inspired both by the temptation of the absolute and the persistent feeling of emptiness, Cioran could however hope that “there are moments in which no matter how far we are from faith, we conceive only one interlocutor: God”. In this way, the dialogue with divinity is some sort of a “consolatory hope” for the Romanian thinker.”…even if I am not a believer, I probably believe in Nothing – the absolute solitude asks a dialogue partner, and if I speak about God, then only as far as he is a dialogue partner for mid-night.
The Romanian thinker gets to the conscience of God thanks to some moments of illumination that leaded him to knowing the supreme happiness that mystics talk about. This is why he says: “Besides this happiness to which we are called only in an exceptional situation and only for a short time, nothing else has a true existence: we live in the kingdom of shadows. Anyway, you never return the same, from paradise or hell”.
The mystic is the main preoccupation that gets out from the work of the Romanian thinker : „Lacrimi si sfinŃi”, „Despre neajunsul de a te fi născut”, „Despre Dumnezeu”.
Mystic for Cioran is an exceptional experience. Somehow, he identifies himself with ecstasy. It is an extreme experience that he would have been lived several times (four times, according to his confessions), maybe, in order to get religion. But Cioran disagreed. This is why he opined: “…you can live this type of experiences with or without faith”.
One can say that Emil Cioran was mystical till a specific point. The mystical emptiness leads to Nothing, but to a Nothing that, in the same time, is everything or the Creature. “The nothing in mystics is what starts after God or, more precisely, after divinity”.
Hence, the relationship: nihilism-mysticism. Like Bl. Pascal, that was neither a rationalist nor a fully mystic, I incline to say that Emil Cioran was a nihilist, but also a mystic till a specific point. I bring as a support for this observation the following argument: “…the failure of mylife was that I didn’t go all the way down. I was fascinated by mystics; I also got to a point, but never reached that final point”.
His passion for mystics will prove, over the years, to be insatiable, like his passion for wisdom, these two being bounded in proximate, yet different worlds, becoming (according to Cioran) almost two extremes – the passion of mystics vs. the ataraxia of wisdom.
Between scepticism and mystics “these two forms of desperation facing knowledge”, Cioran chooses the knowledge without hope of the scepticism, not being able to opt for escaping the knowledge that is mystic – because of his lucidity swept by pride.
Passages like: “No matter where you go, you can only find God”;or „I searched God my entire life, but I did everything not to find him”; „Everything without God is nothingness, and God is the pure nothingness”; „God, without you I am crazy and with you I am going crazy”; „God, I don’t say you don’t exist, I say I don’t exist anymore”; or „Leukaemia is the garden in which God blooms”; „God exists even if he doesn’t exist”31 (and this type of reflections are all over the work of Cioran);all these show an abortive mystical vocation, an antithetic placement towards transcendence, an apophatic demarche with discontinuous meon motivated by both a tendency of an anthropomorphic face of divine, the urgent need of making the sacred a phenomenon and by being aware of the impossibility of such a sensitive metamorphosis of comprehensible instances.
Paradoxically, the need of God that Cioran has is equivalent with the need of lack of God. The philosopher from Răsinari is under the sign of a flagrant violation of the principle of non-contradiction, of a reversed mystic fever that defies logic principles: “Everything that exists belies and confirms Divinity. In same manner, the curse and the pray are equally justified. If they can be made in the same timethreatening with one hand and making a cross with the other, you are almost identical to the supreme Equivoque and you seem to be God each time you know if you exist or not”.
Somehow, the conscience of divinity brings closer the human to God, but “All paths go from me to God, none from God to me…”. This is the suffering of Emil Cioran. In spite of theodicy probations that were never absent in the theological and philosophical area since Augustin till Leibniz, we miss the final way of suffering. Facing the painful scream of the human being, any logical, rational and theological argument keeps its approximate character. Only common sensesolutions facing suffering are silence, assuming the divine mystery, patience, courage and hope in the eshatonic restoration of human being. In this way, Cioran considers that “the one that hasn’t depleted the world in his inner torment will never have the opportunity of reaching God”.
This conquest is for itself and Cioran opts for an individual God: “In a world in which I have no one, I only have God”.
3. All his reflection shows us a thinker with a tormenting and subjective experience that follows the philosophical path, the one of self-knowing towards Divinity. Hence, the insurmountable difficulties that appears. God is an “abyss viewed from below”. Cioran, as well as Pascal, bets on God “Who was able to understand that this world does not overtake the condition of delusion has only two ways: to become religious, saving himself from this world or to save the world by destroying himself”36. The writer opts for the second variant in exchange for saving the world because “the human cannot create anything without a hidden start of self-destruction”.
Destruction is the consecration of the spirit of denying. She emerges from the envy of the being towards beginnings; the denial belongs to the demon to which the human feels connected. There is no basis for anything, says Cioran proving the post-modern anti-foundationalism. “If we could be aware in every moment of what we know, if the feeling of lack of a background could be continuous and intense, we would suicide or fall into stupidity. We exist because we can forget these realities”.
The nihilist speech makes the human being to go to an abyssal peratological terminal, in an ontological border area whose proximity makes him to confront with his own lack of basis. The God of Cioran isn’t apophatic because of his deepness but of his existential absence.
Beyond rebellious acts, invectives and claims, we can find in Cioran an endless longing of Divinity, music of the distance between human and God that compete as a tone, poem, sensibility, ending and deepness with mystic Christian writings. Cioran becomes a witness, prophet and apologet of the constituting catastrophe of the world. The special reversed character of the apophatism of Cioran consists of a conversion of the apophatic reduction in a metaphysic war with Divinity, which his musical spirit, hyper-lucidity, edenic nostalgia and most of all, the disharmony of the existence fatally make him bear.
It is hard to detect a portrait of a overwhelming complexity like the one of Emil Cioran. The author himself being aware of this confesses: “Not even God could tell where am I with regard not to faith but to religion. I belong so little to this world that is impossible to me to find myself unfaithful. Through this lack of membership, I am a part of the “religious”.